Inland Fisheries

International Introductions of Inland Aquatic Species

Aquatic biodiversity and inland fisheries

A total of 1 354 introductions of 237 species into 140 countries are analyzed. The number of introductions carried out rose from the middle of the last century until the 1960s and have lessened since then. Introductions have been made for aquaculture, management of inland water fisheries, ornament and control of unwanted organisms. Many introductions have been made for purposes unknown or by accident. The introduction of new species of aquatic organism involves a number of risks including, degredation of the host environment, disruption of the host community, genetic degradation of the host stock, introduction of diseases and socio-economic effects. Major risks of damage to native environments and fish communities are associated with introductions of species which stunt and with major predators. It is concluded that the introduction of new species is a valuable management tool but, because of the risks to the host community, any further introductions should be made only after careful consideration on any impacts.

An updated register of known international introductions is presented.

This document is a complete revision of FAO Technical Paper No. 213, "Register of International transfers of inland fish species". It has been prepared at the request of The Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa (CIFA), the Commission for Inland Fisheries of Latin America (COPESCAL), the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC) and the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council (IPFC).